Curated by Anne-Laure Lemaitre
204 Front Street
Gamelatron Roh Ageng, 2013 (augmented in 2016 and 2020) Bronze and steel Gongs, Bronze metallophones, mechanical mallets, powder coated steel armature, LEd Lights, physical computing system.
Roh Ageng, means Great Spirit in Krama (the polite form of the Javanese language). The artist tuned the artwork to a variation of a 5-tone Indonesian Gamelan scale called Slendro. The artwork consists of 8 vertically hanging hand forged bronze gongs ranging in size from 18 to 38 inches in diameter and pitch from 168 hz to 52 hz. There are two 48 inch diameter welded steel and brass sub frequency bass gongs that resonate between 35 hz and 41 hz. There are 3 sets of metallophones consisting of 7 hand forged bronze keys in 3 distinct pitch registers called Demung, Saron and Peking. There are 5 kettle shaped gongs called kenong and 1 small kettle gong called ketuk. All the instruments are retrofitted with mechanical mallets, mounted to sculptural armature. The mallets are actuated by electromagnetic solenoids which are connected to a physical computing system which transcribes digital compositions written on site by Aaron Taylor Kuffner.
This artwork transforms a vacant retail shop into a sanctuary that can provide a respite for people. There are 37 specially tuned bronze instruments that play themselves in sequence distributed throughout the 2-story space with areas to lounge and relax. The installation creates a refuge, where people can have an encounter with resonance. It is intended as an offering to the city in an effort to help us find balance, relieve stress and move forward creatively and empathetically.